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Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Which I Admit Defeat.

Oh, not in the gun rights arena, have no fear there. No, I had to admit defeat in the "My son is too young for a cell phone" battle.

Yes. TheBoy has his own cellphone.

Now, he has been warned about only using it for emergencies. He has been instructed that we will be monitoring his usage carefully, and if he's using the phone too much or at times when he shouldn't it will be taken away, etc. It's a "dumb" phone - we weren't about to spring for a smart phone nor a data plan"  - and he gets "family" texts free (well, we have a thousand texts to share each month). For $10 a month ($15 counting the insurance which you bet we added), it's peace of mind when he's out riding his bike or walking home from school.

But BOY, do I feel old.

We had a funny exchange about a year ago. He had watched as his friends and classmates got their own phones, and started agitating for a phone of his own. He then made the mistake of asking me how old I was when I got my first phone... You should have seen the look on his face when I informed him that I was 24 years old, I paid for the phone and the plan out of my own pocket, and it came with a whopping 20 minutes of free air time before you had to pay some ridiculous fee per minute.

Oh, and it was the same size and weight as a brick.

Some of my opposition was based on the fact that he didn't really need a phone - until recently, he was always with some adult (coach, Scout leader, parent) that had a phone should someone need to be contacted. As he gets older and asserts his independence, riding his bike around town, hanging out at the basketball court, etc., he's more likely to be somewhere without access to a phone. Have you tried finding a pay phone recently?

And yes, part of my opposition is based on the entirely emotional aspect of not wanting to admit that my little boy is growing up...

That is all.

14 comments:

Dave H said...

Right there with you Jay. My son got his first dumb phone when he was 12, but only because he was being evicted from daycare for being too old. I wanted him to have access to a phone in case he had to leave the house before I got off work. Everybody in our neighborhood has a day job so running to the neighbor's house wasn't an option.

Yes, it's hard to admit they're growing up, but you don't have to quit caring.

Suz said...

"I was 24 years old..."

And you walked five miles to school every day. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow.

I wonder if it took a moment for him to believe you.

Jay G said...

I showed him the phone. Still have it. Motorola StarTac...

Jay G said...

Oops, not a StarTac, that was much newer. I had this...

harp1034 said...

Get ready for the day this happens.
Son, let's go do something together. Well gee dad, I was kinda, you know, wondering if I could have the car keys?

Jay G said...

That will never happen. I know what I did when I borrowed my parents' cars.

TheBoy will have his own vehicle.

Anyone know if they sell those three axle dumptrucks?

Alan said...

Buy him a junker with no wheels, tell him he can drive it when it passes the safety inspection.

Then go out and sabotage it every night.

Anonymous said...

1970's Caddy with a transplanted VW flat four! Lets seem him hotrod that!

My oldest got her first cell phone at age 17, the next was 16, then 14, then 13.

Amazing how the need for phones became so dominent.

BUT....the rule was that they answered the phone EVERY time we called. No excuses about dead batteries, because that meant you weren't responsible to keep it charged. No excuses about "I didn't have it with me" because that meant you didn't really need it. We had a few stolen from school lockers over the years, we had one get accidently ejected into traffic. (Long story, actually pretty boring.)

But being able to locate a kid with a phone call, regardless, made my wifes life much easier. Like most moms, she worries!

Not me, I'm a big, tough, dad.

Bill

Stretch said...

Don't tell him about the GPS ping feature. OK, even if it doesn't have that let him think it does. Keeps him in line ... maybe.

Weer'd Beard said...

Still to be fair, how many times in our youth did our Moms ask us to "Call and check in" when we were out with friends?

How often did we do it?

For me it was: Never

but if I had a cell, I'd sure pick it up, because I didn't have malice, I just don't look at my watch when I'm having fun!

Spike said...

If you had some electronics know-how, you could build something like this....
http://handya.co.nz/post/43198336217/texting-brick-phone

Built like a brick, weighs more than that, and its not like someone would steal it from him!

Jennifer said...

I feel strangely older than you currently. My son has had is phone for 2 years now. Got it when he started middle school. Just got his own video camera for his 14th birthday.

Old NFO said...

Hell, My GRANDSON now has a phone... Talk about feeling OLD! Sigh...

Julie said...

I've been having the same conversation with Miss 11.

So far we've not got her one, but we have had instances where she's out riding her bike with the neighbourhood kids and we have actually needed to find her (or one of the others) and haven't been able to contact them. So maybe for her 12th birthday?